Management Principles And Practice Management Principles and Practice II Research Assignment 2000 Michael Yates 990490O Although it is possible to adopt a fairly atheoritical, empirical approach to assessing personality, even psychologists make assumptions or have some preconceptions with regard to the expected outcome and nature of their research. Unfortunately, theories are often based on a minimum of actual observations of the objects of their efforts. At the very least, it should be recognised that some frame of reference, some conceptual guidelines can be helpful in assessing and explaining personality. It is obviously very important to have some explanation as to why people do the things they do and expectations of what they may do under certain circumstances. This becomes imperative when managing a business. Personality theories and personality-based assessment tools have a wide range of significant roles to play in the effective management of modern organisations.
Not only do they enable and encourage employee self-assessment and self-awareness; they are also used as a selection tool in many organisations, and act as a guide for directing and interacting with employees. By knowing the employees personality type, it is easier for management to identify whether employees will be suited to a certain type of job, enabling management to identify how employees will react to different situations and how they will go about solving problems. MYERS-BRIGGS PERSONALITY TYPE INDICATOR (MBTI) The MBTI is based upon Carl Jungs theories about the nature of the psyche. Jung, one of the founders of psychoanalytical theory and practice, was an early colleague of Freud, and for a time was his designated successor. The two men, at first, had many ideas in common, but entirely dissimilar personalities. The friendship was gradually eroded when Jungs ideas differed more and more from Freuds. Jung suffered a breakdown, and during his recovery he attempted to understand the nature of his friendship he devised his theory of psychological types.
Jung realised, first of all, that he was an Introvert whereas Freud was an Extravert. Jungs final theory suggested that personality typology was based on two things: Chance and Choice, or nature and nurture. In either case, as time goes on, ones true personality type emerges in terms of attitudes towards the world, and functional preferences about how to perceive the world and how to make judgements about it. This MBTI has been developed over thirty-five years of rigorous scientific validation and is the most widely used of any Personality Indicator. It is a very useful tool to enlarge and deepen our self-knowledge and understanding of our behaviour.
The MBTI is a four-dimension model, measuring personality on 4 scales, with each scale representing two ends of a continuum of two preferences. There are therefore sixteen different combinations of letters corresponding to sixteen different and unique Personality Types. Three of the scales will tell the respondent their relative preferences for either I(ntroversion) or E(xtraversion), either S(ensing) or iN(tution) and either T(hinking) or F(eeling). So if the MBTI defines the respondent as EFN, they are an extravert with preferences for intuition and feeling. For each of the four scales, everyone uses both preferences at different times, but not both at once, and not, in most cases, with equal confidence.
The fourth scale of the MBTI (the Perceiving-Judging scale) will tell the respondent whether they use their preferred perceiving function of their preferred judging function when dealing with the world (ie when being extraverted). Thus, if you are an ENFJ, the respondent is an extravert who uses the feeling function when being extraverted (ie most of the time), but probably uses intuition when being introverted: as the feeling function is the one you use most it will be called the dominant function. If you are an ENFP, then you use intuition when dealing with the world, and so your dominant function is intuition. However, the validity of this assessment has been questioned. Each question provides the subject with certain circumstances, and then questions the subject as to how they would respond. However, the answer may not correspond to how you always think, feel or behave.
It may only sometimes be the case, and only in some particular circumstances. Often employers use the MBTI without qualified instructors. In order for the results to be valid for the employer, Lanyon and Goodstein (1971, p.29) highlight three conditions that must hold true for any personality assessment; a) the psychologists interpretation of the assessment data must be correct within the framework of the particular theory he is using; b) his understanding of the theory must be adequate enough to enable him to make a decision which is consistent with the demands of the theory; and c) the theory itself must be a useful one. Aiken (1989, p.211) cites Willis (1984) further supporting this view: Unfortunately, no measures of test-taking attitude are provided, a shortcoming that could lead to errors of diagnosis and screening. One of the main criticisms of the MBTI is that it has not been shown to fit the assumptions of Jungian theory.
Rytting and Ware (1996,p.2) reveal that the use of continuos scores which measure the strength of traits rather than dichotomies which are used to categorise types. Thus the MBTI does not allocate individuals to type groups but rather measures personality traits. Furthermore Rytting and Ware (1996,p.6) confirm that people can and do identify their preferences on most of the dimensions and can come up with a best-fit type or perhaps two that they switch between. This does not help the researcher to find significant differences that might actually exist. MBTI and Management The MBTI takes about 20 minutes to complete and 5 minutes to mark, and provides employers with an efficient tool for personality assessment. The MBTI is one of the most popular personality instruments used by management to enhance employee communication patterns and understanding.
The MBTI is primarily concerned with valuing differences in people that result from where they like to focus their attention, the way they like to take in information, the way they make decisions, and the kind of lifestyle they adopt. The MBTI will help employees identify their strengths and help them to better understand and appreciate the valuable diversity of others. Employees can use the information to better understand themselves, their motivation, their strengths and competencies in the workplace, and potential areas for growth. The MBTI also enables managers to examine organisational type profile and how employees will work most effectively within this culture. Employees will gain great benefit from an understanding of their own and other’s personality type. It has helped people worldwide in their choice of career, understanding of how they react and work in both social and job situations, what makes them comfortable and uncomfortable in their interactions with others and what they can expect in their personal development as they mature.
THE BIG FIVE MODEL OF PERSONALITY The Big Five (Five-Factor) Model of Personality is an emerging new personality paradigm that is not a radical departure from the MBTI, but rather more of an evolution from it. The new model involves five dimensions of personality, a normal distribution of scores on these dimensions, an emphasis on individual personality traits (the type concept is gone), with preferences indicated by strength of score. The Big Five Model of Personality is based on the and is model based on experience and evidence, not theory. If you classify people as low or high on each dimension, 25 separate types of personality exist. Originally developed by Tupes and Christal during the 1950’s, redefinition by Costa and McCrae (1992) led to what we know today as the Five-Factor Model (FFM), or the Big Five theory.
The Big Five personality traits that account for individual differences in personality are: 1. Extraversion: Describes the degree to which someone is sociable, talkative and assertive. 2. Agreeableness: Describes the degree to which someone is good-natured, cooperative and trusting. 3.
Conscientiousness: Describes the degree to which someone is responsible, dependable, persistent and achievement oriented. 4. Emotional stability (Neuroticism /Negative Emotionality): Describes the degree to which someone is calm, enthusiastic and secure (positive) or tense, nervous, depressed or insecure (negative). 5. Openness (to experience): Describes the degree to which someone is imaginative, artistically sensitive and intellectual Like the MBTI, the Big-Five Model of Personality has much to offer the management of modern organisations. The Big-Five Model and Management It is used as a useful selection tool, and helps management to assess and deal with borderline performance, difficulties with other employees, boredom and frustration with work and employee desire for self-improvement.
It also serves as a guide to effective team building, job selection and analysis, training design, customer service, career and leadership development and conflict management. In response to the negative effects of trait congruence or diversity, The Big-Five Model gives management guidance to direct employees to change themselves, change others, or change their situation. The Big-Five model also enables management to direct employees to learn two strategies for managing conflict: development and compensation. Management must develop the employee by teaching them skills, and help the person learn to compensate by learning how to involve others in assisting with conflict situations. OTHER PERSONALITY THEORIES Keirsey Temperement Sorter (KTI) The KTS measures personality along the same dimensions as the MBTI, but is less supported by research data.
Kierseys theory of personality is based upon the temperement concpets of Kretchmer. As with the MBTI, only four catergoties are used for classification of typology. Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) The EPI is a measure based on Eysencks theory of personality traits. It measures an individuals preferences along the dimensions extravert-introvert and stable-unstable. In the case of EPI, the scores on the scales are considered as important as the allocation to temperament group.
The Adjective Check List (ACL) The ACL is a creation of Gough and Heilbrun. It is one of the simplest of the psychological measures to take and is relatively unthreatening. However, it is time-consuming to mark (compare it, in this regard, to MBTI) and yields results for 37 parameters of personality. Because subjects are asked merely to check self-descriptive adjectives when using the ACL, the results are of very general application. In theory at least, the ACL could be used to measure almost any parameter of normal and abnormal personality.
NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-Pi) The Neo-Pi is the most successful of the tests of personality based on the concept of the big-five. It is essentially the end product of an empirical factor-analytic approach to personality. In essence, there are five factors that have been found to summarise most of the personality traits which psychologists have measured over the years: Nueroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. The NEO-Pi, however, does not provide the same diversity as the MBTI, and therefore is not always appropriate for use in the employment setting. However, it does provide results that are far more valid in qualitative research.
CONCLUSIONS It is clear, through thorough analysis, that personality-based assessment tools and the personality theories on which they are based are essential in the management of modern organisations. The two predominant assessment tools: The MBTI and The Big-Five Model, offer management guidance for hiring and firing, team building and achievement of employee self-assessment and self-awareness. Through knowledge of the employees personality type, it is easier for management to identify whether employees will be suited to a certain type of job, enabling management to identify how employees will react to different situations and how they will go about solving problems. Psychology.